Bistros, Brasseries & Wine Bars; Opening a Restaurant; ESP Systems; Washoku; Farm-to-School Programs

Hosted by
Laura Avery speaks with Barbara Whyman of Tutti Frutti Farms about her English shelling peas, snow peas and sugar snap peas, which are a cross between the English and snow peas. You can find Tutti Frutti Farms and their $3/pound peas at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers' Market and Sunday Hollywood Farmers Market.

Laura also speaks with organic-citrus grower Armando Garcia about his Murcott "honey" tangerines, just one of the varieties available at the market now. Armando carries Honey, Encore, Gold Nugget, Yosemite Gold and Pixies. He also confides that he keeps a few cherimoyas "stashed in the back for regulars," and reminds us to keep our eyes peeled for his new, sweet tangerines that are completely edible, even the peels.

Good Food listener, Terrie Jaramillo's recipe:

Broccoli Beef Wellingtons

  • 1 lb ground beef (chicken or turkey work just as well)
  • 1 package frozen chopped broccoli (or equivalent in freshly cooked broccoli, chopped and well drained)
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 8-oz cans Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Poppy seeds
  1. Heat oven to 375--. Brown the meat and drain off the excess grease. Thaw the broccoli, drain in strainer, then squeeze out all excess water. Add to the ground meat, broccoli, cheese, onion, sour cream, salt and pepper. Stir well and cook until the cheese is melted.
  2. Working with one package at a time, remove the crescent rolls from their container without separating the rolls into triangles. Place the dough on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan (it should be shaped like a long, wide rectangle). Pinch together all of the perforations.
  3. Spoon the meat mixture in 3--- strip lengthwise down the center of the dough. Bring the long edges of dough rectangles over the filling. Pinch edges and ends to seal. (You should now have a rectangle about 4" wide by 10" long). Repeat with the other package of rolls. Brush the top of each rectangle with the beaten egg, then sprinkle the top with poppy seeds. Bake at 375-- for 18-22 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Daniel Young, author of Bistros, Brasseries and Wine Bars: Everyday Recipes from the Real Paris, offers a vicarious thrill as he talks about his life as a resident of France and gives us a look at the "real Paris." He the difference between brasseries, wine bars and bistros, and recounts what part these establishments play in French life. He also shares a recipe with us, eschewing snooty snacks like foie gras and caviar in favor of a "messy tangle of fried potatoes, zucchini, and, most crucially, leeks" that go into the bar mix at Willi's Wine Bar. He even recommends the mix over potato chips, peanuts or goldfish crackers, as "an aperitif and impulsive finger food of distinction."

Bar Mix from Willi's Wine Bar
Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 2 leeks, white parts only
  • 1 lb Idaho russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
  • 1 lb zucchini
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Peanut oil or vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt
  1. Julienne the leeks and the potatoes into spaghetti-thin strips. Wash them separately in cold water, drain, and thoroughly pat dry.
  2. Slice the zucchini into thin rounds no thicker than 1/8". Combine them in a bowl with the flour and a little salt, and toss to coat the zucchini.
  3. Clip a deep-frying thermometer to the side of a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat 3" oil over high heat to 350--. Fry the leeks until browned, 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the potatoes, frying them until golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Finally, fry the zucchini until browned, 3-4 minutes. Toss the fried vegetables together and serve in a napkin-lined bowl or basket.

Daniel Miller, author of Starting a Small Restaurant: How to Make Your Dream a Reality, cautions that the project is a very complex, expensive, 24/7 proposition for which you can never be too prepared. Beyond stamina and a good capital flow, Daniel believes that success depends on the vision, talent and artfulness of the chef.

Devin Green is the CEO of ESP Systems, a wireless system that enables casual dining restaurants to be more responsive to customers. Both waiters and customers are given a small device and customers can push a button to page the waiter whenever they need them.

Elizabeth Andoh, author of Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen, reviews the five principles of Japanese washoku: five colors, five tastes, five ways, five senses, and five outlooks. She also provided us with this recipe.

Green Beans Tossed in Creamy Sesame-Miso Sauce (ingen no goma miso ae)
Serves 4 to 6

  • 12 ozs young green beans
  • 3 Tablespoons sesame-miso sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons white sesame seeds, freshly dry-roasted (technique below) (optional)
  1. Choose the freshest, most tender green beans you can find, preferably those with fuzz still clinging to them. Snap off the stem end, pulling down along the length of the bean to remove any string that might be there. The Japanese keep the pointed (flowering) end intact, though most Americans tend to trim these away.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil, add the beans, and blanch for 1 minute, or until bright green but still crisp. Drain the beans but do not refresh them under cold water. Instead, allow them to cool to room temperature natu- rally or cool them by fanning.
  3. If you will be serving the green beans thinly sliced on the diagonal or cut into 1" lengths, now is the time to shape them.Toss the cut green beans in the sesame-miso sauce just before serving and divide into individual portions. Coax each portion into a mound. Garnish each serving with sesame seeds to add textural interest, if desired.
Creamy Sesame-Miso Sauce
with Ready-Made Paste

Makes about 1/2 cup
  • 3 Tablespoons white sesame paste
  • 3 Tablespoons sweet, light miso, preferably Saikyo miso
  • Pinch of salt, if needed
  • 3 Tablespoons basic sea stock
With Freshly Dry-Roasted Sesame Seeds
  • 1/4 cup white sesame seeds, freshly dry-roasted (see technique below)
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet, light miso, preferably Saikyo miso
  • Scant 1/4 cup basic sea stock
  • Pinch of salt, if needed
  1. To make with ready-made sesame paste, combine sesame paste with the miso in a bowl and stir or whisk to blend completely. Taste, and if it seems too sweet, adjust the seasoning with the salt. Blend again until smooth. Thin the mixture with some of the stock, one spoonful at a time. As you add the stock, the sauce will lighten in color.
  2. To make with freshly dry-roasted sesame seeds in a suribachi, crush seeds while still warm in order to release their nutty aroma. When they are fully crushed, very aromatic, and look a bit oily, add the miso and continue to grind to combine thoroughly. Drizzle in the stock a bit at a time, grinding further and scraping down to blend after each addition. When the sauce is the consistency of tomato puree, taste it. If it seems too sweet, adjust the seasoning with the salt.

To make the sauce with in a food processor, place still-warm seeds seeds in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until the seeds are fully cracked. If necessary, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and then pulse again until all the seeds have been evenly crushed. Add half each of the miso and stock and pulse again. Taste and adjust the sweetness with the salt, if necessary. Scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding the remaining miso and stock. Continue to pulse until smooth.

No matter which method you use to make the sauce, transfer it to a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate. It will keep for up to 3 weeks, though the aroma and texture are best within the first week.

To dry roast seeds and nuts:

Heat a small, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the seeds or nuts. Stir occasionally with a wooden spatula or gently swirl the skillet in a circular motion. In about a minute, white sesame seeds will begin to color, as will pine nuts (black seeds will not darken appreciably). All seeds that still have their hull intact may pop as the warm air trapped between the kernel and hull expands. Dry-roasted seeds and nuts become aromatic as their oils are released; as soon as you begin to smell them, remove the skillet from the heat. The skillet retains heat, so seeds and nuts will continue to toast even after the skillet is taken away from the stove. Continue to stir for another 20 to 30 seconds. If the seeds or nuts look in danger of scorching, transfer them to a dish to cool faster. If you will be crushing the seeds or nuts, do so while they are still warm.
Reprinted with permission from Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen -- 2005, Ten Speed Press.

Good Food Producer Harriet Ells is on the street to capture what diners are saying about their restaurant experiences.

Moira Beery is the Program Coordinator for the Farm-to-Institution program at the Center for Food and Justice (a division of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College). The program's goals are to provide farm-fresh produce in school cafeterias. To do this she establishes relationships with local farmers and schools.